The Costco experience


costco-whole-famsmlcostco-bec-kobesmlCostco Australia

US retail giant Costco opens Docklands store

Costco opens at Docklands

I wouldn’t even have KNOWN about Costco if it wasn’t for the media hype!  However, I believe the media did their job well because when there is something new & exciting happening, I don’t want to miss out!  So it was, within 1 week of Costco opening I signed up with this Giant Warehouse for $60 online and lured my husband and 6 children into Docklands at 4.30pm on Saturday afternoon.  The parking was easy!  Straight into a car park, but then we walk up the stairs in the direction of the Costco entrance and we become overwhelmed with giant trolleys, lots of people, a large lift and an extensive queue for people to gain entrance.  Ian & I just look at each other, take a deep breath and continue on our journey.  We spot a Costco worker and ask him what we should do.  He suggests we go and find a trolley then we can gain entry via a ‘one day only’ coupon, as although I have signed up membership online I haven’t received any form of membership card.  We feel very important as we gain entrance in the shorter queue.  There are hundreds of people lined up in the ‘long’ queue waiting to sign up for membership!

On entry into the store we feel extremely overwhelmed.  The baby is strapped in the baby bjorn and B4 & K5 fit nicely into the ‘trolley seats’.  B1, L2 & C3 walk alongside the trolley but I think they are also overwhelmed and a little ‘freaked out’ that they walk very close to the trolley and have several ‘run ins’ with us, each other and the trolley!

So our Costco adventure begins.  We pass mixmasters, cooking appliances & accessories, jewellery, storage boxes, and car accessories – seemingly everything but the car!, The first item I throw into the trolley is a bulk box of freezer storage ’snap lock’ bags!  I LOVE my snap lock bags – I almost feel I’m in snap lock heaven!!!  Batteries, basketball rings, clothing – K6 strikes it lucky with a very cute (and extremely affordable) Osh Kosh B’Gosh tracksuit and bodysuits!  Crocs are $24.99, Diesel Jeans are $129.99, Huggies Box of 185 is $67.99 (Bargain!).  The children get very excited when they spot large gumball machines, bulk jars of bubblegum, a tin of 1000 Chupa Chups, boxes of twisties, twin packs of Nutella & Honey.  And the up and coming ‘mini-chef’ of our family, B1, is very excited when we find a 1.5kg block of Western Star butter.  I was extremely excited when I found a large bag of Baking Soda – I LOVE Baking Soda for cooking and CLEANING!  It’s the BEST!  We load up the trolley with canned tomatoes (12 tins), tomato paste (12 tubs), peanut butter (very large jar), burritos (twin packs), pizza bases (twin pack), dishwashing detergent and a massive bulk lot of 60 rolls of Kleenex toilet paper!  The list goes on….and…….on………..and………..on………and……..on.  The children ‘want’ a lot of things.  DVDs, Nintendo DS games, books, lollies, cubby houses, Diego cars and so much more.  I ‘want’ a lot of things including bulk camembert & brie.  I managed to sneak a bucket of basil pesto into the trolley and abstained from putting a jar of Kez’s cookies in my trolley – wouldn’t last long in our household.  My mind begins to ‘wander’ as I dream of hosting dinner parties and I even spot the outdoor BBQ & stainless steel ‘outdoor kitchen’ for just over $3000!  This place has everything!

We had to give much of the ‘freezer section’ a miss as we didn’t come prepared with eskys to keep our purchases frozen for the trip home.  We also abstained from stocking up on Flour, Rice & Sugar as we would also need to invest in some ‘big buckets’ to store the bulk amounts in.

Eventually we make it through to ‘checkout’ with the final ‘bill’ totalling to just over $500.  Not bad for a family of 8 and we’ve stocked up on lots of things!!!!

We then look forward to having Costco HotDogs and unlimited refills for ‘dinner’.  A cheap meal that should total less than $20 for our whole family!  We were disappointed to find out that the ‘eatery’ closes at 6pm, the same time as the store.  Pity, because there are still hundreds of shoppers to leave the store.  Would have been great if they were open a little longer than the store.

Overall, a great place to shop for a large family.  In years to come I can envision Costco becoming a valuable asset to us as our family ‘grows up’ and so do their appetites!  Costco stocks many of brand name items we have learned to trust.

Family Value Advice

  • Go with a list
  • Go on a full stomach
  • Go when you are in a happy mood
  • DON’T impulse buy
  • Know Your Prices
  • Take some eskys or cool bags
  • DON’T  go by yourself if you plan to stock up – another person to help stack the car is always handy!
  • Look out for discount coupons
  • Leave the children at home if possible
  • If taking children, ensure they go to the toilet before entering store!

Overall, a favourable, happy experience!  Our pantry is now full!  I do think that perhaps our local supermarkets are going to ’suffer’ because of Costco, however, with a family of 8 we need to shop where we are getting value for money.

From where we live, the travel is 40 minutes.  Is it worth the trip?  Absolutely!

Been to Costco?  Don’t like Costco?  Tossing up whether to sign up for Costco membership?  I would love to hear your opinions & questions.

4 Responses to “The Costco Experience”

  1. Frances Pitt Says:
    Very good report, and photos. Now my curiousity is satisfield- I feel as if I have been on a visit, without stress, and being tempted to spend money.
  2. Michelle Says:
    Thanks I have been wanting to know a little more about what it was like! I have long been a believer in the value of ‘buying bulk’ and was excited to hear Costco was coming to Australia. After all the hype it is great to hear from a “normal family” that yes, it is great value for money.
    Now all I need is one in Sydney and I too would definitely make the 40 minute trip to stock up!
  3. katepickle Says:
    Fab costco round up post…My BIL has membership but he is young and just married with no kids so when I asked of they had bulk flour and lentils he had no idea!!!
  4. Mel Scott Says:
    I LOVE the photos…especially the terrified, very unimpressed children in one!
    Thanks for a fantastic report. Bulk Buy is best…go for Bulk!! But…where to store it all…hmmm?
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